San Francisco — September 15, 2010 In the wake of the explosion of PG&E’s natural gas line in San Bruno, the Local Clean Energy Alliance is calling on PG&E to halt its expansion of natural gas infrastructure and focus on safety and clean energy instead. The Local Clean Energy Alliance is comprised of over 60 Bay Area community organizations and local businesses advocating for clean energy, healthy communities, and green jobs (www.localcleanenergy.org).
“PG&E should be prioritizing the safety of their customers. This means investing in the safety of their aging natural gas infrastructure over wasting ratepayer funds on unnecessary power plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects,” noted Rory Cox, California Program Director for Pacific Environment.
Cox observed that there are currently several new gas fired power plants planned for the PG&E service territory, even though PG&E had 44 percent more generating capacity than needed on the hottest summer day of 2009. Residents near these proposed projects have expressed concern about additional air pollution. In addition, PG&E is planning to build a new 234-mile pipeline from Coos Bay Oregon to Northern California to bring in natural gas from foreign sources, via Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technology. The Alliance deems these projects unnecessary and counter to the State’s climate action goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“This explosion is another wake up call that we need to transition away from the use of dangerous, polluting fossil fuels,” asserted Kirsten Schwind, Program Director at Bay Localize. “PG&E is not meeting its state mandated targets for saving energy and transitioning to renewable energy. Weather stripping, solar thermal hot water heaters, solar photovoltaics, and windmills don’t blow up.”
“The Bay Area can meet significantly more of its energy demand from safe, clean renewable energy right here in our communities,” noted Al Weinrub, a member of the Sierra Club’s State Energy-Climate Committee. “Investing in local renewable energy generation creates clean energy jobs in our cities while reducing the public health risks and climate impacts of fossil fuels.”
“Earlier this year PG&E spent $46 million on Proposition 16, which was ultimately rejected by CA voters. A utility which chooses to waste valuable dollars on political shenanigans over investments in public safety should raise serious questions for the CPUC and all PG&E customers,” observed Larry Chang, a green architect who serves on the steering committee of the Local Clean Energy Alliance.
The following steering committee members of the Local Clean Energy Alliance are available to comment on news and analysis stories following up on the San Bruno natural gas explosion:
Kirsten Schwind, Program Director, Bay Localize (former Chair of the City of Berkeley Energy Commission): 510-834-0420, firstname.lastname@example.org – Karen will be presenting “Community Resilience” with Aaron Lehmer (also of Bay Localize) and Dan Homsey of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network at the Community Action (Better World) Pavilion at Green Festival San Francisco.
Rory Cox, California Program Director, Pacific Environment: 415-399-8850 x302, email@example.com
Al Weinrub, Member of Sierra Club California Energy-Climate Committee: (510) 531-0720, firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Chang, Green Architect: 510-534-1804, email@example.com